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Social distance, lack of water, a challenge in reopening of schools

How to maintain social distance and lack of running water in some schools have been cited as the main challenges to the re-opening of schools in the country.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the Ministry is working out on how students will maintain social distance while in class, hostels and other environments, among other guidelines.
Speaking while inspecting the construction of Ruiru Girls and Boys schools in Kiambu County on Friday, Magoha said they will not rush to reopen schools without having a clear plan on how the guidelines will be adhered to.
He said they are working on the plans so that they are not caught flatfooted when the Health Ministry gives the nod to resume normal operations.
The CS said schools will be expected to ensure the guidelines on social distancing and hygiene among students are strictly adhered to since some students tend to be indisciplined while others are too young and need guidance.
Magoha called on parents to guide their children on the need to observe the Health Ministry’s protocols on Covid-19 so that they can replicate the same while in school.
The CS said they are working to ensure urban crowded and rural schools have constant flowing water to maintain hygiene among students.
“In case we are thinking about reopening, we need all schools to have enough water flow for hygiene. We are also thinking of how we will enhance social distancing in all our schools. Having one double-decker in one cubicle is something that we will have to reconsider,” he said.
Schools have been closed since mid-March, with the Ministry postponing re-opening dates for the second term following surging numbers of COVID-19 infections in the country.
The Ministry has created a ten-member Covid-19 national education response committee that will evaluate possibilities on how soon schools can reopen.
National Education Response Committee is chaired by Sarah Ruto who is also the chairperson of Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).
There have been concerns over the constitution of the committee with some institutions claiming that they had been sidelined despite being key stakeholders.
But Magoha said that no institution had been sidelined adding that the committee may not be perfect but it will serve the purpose.
He urged the public to give views on what they think should be done to ensure safety in educational institutions.
By Muoki Charles

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